It can be frustrating when your partner is showing behaviour that you honestly cannot relate to and try as you may can never understand.
There are ways of knowing the attachment style of your partner, once you can make sense of their reaction it become so much easier in relating to them and so we will look at the attachment style of the Avoidant.
What is an Avoidant Attachment Style?
Avoidant Attachment sounds like two words pulling in difference directions, but we should understand the words in the literal sense. They mean, as suggested, to avoid becoming attached emotionally.
People with Avoidant Attachment styles struggle with intimacy issues. They may create situations that destroy their relationships, albeit unconsciously. They will also pull away from their loved ones when they sense too much closeness.
People who have such emotional styles tend to disregard the feelings of others. They also forget their own. They often see expressing emotions as a weakness. It goes without saying that they don’t handle negative situations like awkwardness and failure well.
People who have an avoidant attachment approach to relationships are either fearful of intimacy or dismissive of their partners’ feelings.
Those who are Dismissive-Avoidant tend to distance themselves emotionally from their partners. So although they understand the value of human connection, they fear connection based on the past experience or things they may have observed.
People with Fearful-Avoidant Attachment patterns are ambivalent and afraid of commitment. They strike a balance in relationships in an attempt to avoid being too close or distant. They want to have their emotional needs met, but fear being too close.
Fearful-Avoidants try to rein in their feelings, but can’t. Consequently, they feel overwhelmed by their worries and have emotional storms. Their moods are unpredictable. As a result, they have relationships with many highs and lows.
Then, there are the Anxious-Preoccupied Avoidants. A person who has this Avoidant Attachment Style is preoccupied with his or her relationships. He or she reads too much into social interactions and is over-sensitive. He or she tends to choose a Dismissive Avoidant partner. Of course, the combination is volatile. However we should not feel hopeless when this is discovered, and so we can start by identifying 8 sure things that is suggesting that your partner may be have an Avoidant Attachment style.
If your partner is an avoidance attachment style and uses it to relate to you, you may recognize these behavioural patterns.
1. Avoidants want their partners but not their presence
Avoidants need love like everyone else, so they will miss their partners when they are not around. Once their partners return, they feel ‘trapped’ and hanker after space again.
2. Avoidants send mixed signals
Moreover, Avoidants tend to send mixed messages to their partners. They’ll want to move in with them one day and ignore them the next. The mixed signals leave their partners in a tailspin.
3. Avoidants stress boundaries
First of all, Avoidants cherish their space. To protect it, they enforce boundaries between themselves and their significant others. These are either physical or emotional; they may sleep in separate rooms or hide information from their partners.
4. Avoidants are uncomfortable with deep feelings
Avoidants don’t disclose their deepest feelings to their significant others because they have a strong sense of emotional independence. Also, it would bring them closer to their partners, which they want to avoid.
5. Avoidants prefer casual sex
Avoidants prefer casual to intimate sex because they want to avoid closeness. They don’t wish to worry about their partner’s feelings after intercourse.
6. Avoidants are uncomfortable with intimate situations
Shunning intimacy is another trait of Avoidants. They are loving and supportive viz other aspects of the relationship (e.g., finance, health) but pull away at any sign of closeness.
7. Avoidants idealize other relationships
Furthermore, Avoidants dwell on past relationships to give themselves excuses not to deal with current ones. They may also fantasize about perfect relationships so that they’ll have reasons to feel that their present partners aren’t right for them.
8. Avoidants disregard feelings
Avoidants treat their significant others like business partners because they feel solely responsible for their well-being. Therefore, they seldom discuss emotions. They often describe their partners as ‘needy.’
Fearful Avoidants will struggle to remain close to their partners. They will obsess over their partners not loving them and have mood swings. Of course, this puts a strain on their romantic relationships.
Anxious – Preoccupied Avoidants create endless cycles of self-fulfilling prophecies. They avoid intimacy with their partners but will say ‘I knew it! You don’t love me!’ when their significant others pull away. You can see the irony in these situations; the constant strain ends the relationship.
Dismissive avoidance know that they have difficulty expressing feelings and seek vulnerable, open partners to fill the gap. However, they can’t reciprocate their partners’ openness. Consequently, their romances suffer.
Research is still being done on attachment styles, however it is a good place to start by knowing some fundamentals that could aid in the way you communicate to your partner. We still believe that unconditional acceptance of your partner is probably the best approach in preserving your relationship/marriage and with continued support, kindness, love and communication you can transform your experience to something healthy.
Relationships have the potential to teach you many valuable lessons and provide the challenges that are so important for our growth as human beings. Being with someone who has a dismissive avoidant attachment style can push you to explore your own need for attachment and what it is you are looking for when you enter and participate in intimate relationships. One of the things that can emerge as you explore this territory is an inability to love yourself due to a deep-seated belief in your own lack of worth. You therefore look to your partner to give you the reassurance you need to feel good about yourself. In such a case, being with someone who is dismissive avoidant can be extremely difficult, however with conscious intent it can also be used as a tool for self-growth.
Learning to meet your own emotional needs can be a challenging process, made almost impossible if your lover continuously bows to your emotional need and provides the support, or crutch, you are looking for. This can be especially problematic if their own emotional well-being is tied to the need to be needed, leading to the classic co-dependent dynamic where each person props up the other emotionally. This dynamic is rarely sustainable and most often destructive. In contrast, a dismissive avoidant is unlikely to provide you with such a crutch. Instead they will tell you in no uncertain terms, either directly or through emotional withdrawal, that you have to meet these needs for yourself. If your partner is telling you that they are not interested anymore, that the relationship is toxic, that the person for them is not you but someone else and all this in an effort in pushing you away, if you are not taking care of your emotional needs there will be sleepless nights. Instead of trying to change and fix them, work on you, that is the best way and by your consistency, they will most times make the adjustment. (Specially worded for Nayr)